Timothy Lake (Mt. Hood)
On the eastern shore of Timothy Lake, in the Mt. Hood National Forest, lies Gone Creek Day Use Area. It’s a great place to take your family for a day trip to explore a mountain lake. On a hot summer day in August, we took our kids, ages 2 and 5, to join another family for some summer fun.
We started the day with a stop in Sandy at the famous Joe’s Donuts for coffee and you guessed it, donuts. All fueled up, we drove for an hour into the mountains to Gone Creek for a day of outdoor play. For $5/vehicle or the National Forest Recreation Day Pass, we parked at the Day Use Area. With life jackets on, the kids jumped right into the icy, mountain water. We brought an inflatable boat, buckets, shovels and balls for hours of water and sand play.
At lunch time, we feasted on a homemade lunch and cupcakes to celebrate a newly minted 5 year old. Afterward, the kids jumped on their bikes to ride down the paved roads. While there is a 16 mile single track loop around Timothy Lake, our kids were too young to use it.
After hours of hard play and exercise, we settled down for a little fishing from the shore. The kids cast and the daddies untangled the lines. We didn’t catch anything but the lake is stocked with trout several times a year.
When the sun started to sit low in the sky, we packed up and got in the car for the 30 minute drive to dinner. The Ratskeller Pizzeria in Government Camp serves pizza, pasta, burgers and salads and a great kid’s menu. The family side of the pizzeria has a kid’s area with chalkboard walls and coloring materials.
With bellies full and energy exhausted, we had a quiet drive back to Portland.
Tiffany Larson is a mom of two and lives in the Portland Metro area.
Ready to discover (or re-discover) Portland? From the coast to the Gorge, from Clark County to Salem, the Portland Family Fun Guide will allow you to experience the awesomeness this area has to offer!
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